Bill proposes tenants be given 90 days’ termination notice

Róisín Shortall says new tenants should know how much rent predecessors paid

Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall proposes that tenants in rental accommodation for less than a year should have at least 90 days’ termination notice. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall proposes that tenants in rental accommodation for less than a year should have at least 90 days’ termination notice. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

New tenants should have access to rent paid by their predecessors in order to ensure the 4 per cent cap on rents is being implemented in designated rent pressure zones, the Dáil has heard.

Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall also proposes that tenants in rental accommodation for less than a year should have at least 90 days’ termination notice in order to minimise the risk of homelessness.

And she said those renting for between one and five years should have a 120 day minimum notice to terminate.

Ms Shortall made the proposals in legislation she introduced in the Dáil in which she also makes provision to increase the fine for landlords who breach the rules on minimum notice periods from €4,000 to €15,000.

Launching the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill, the joint leader of the Social Democrats said there was growing evidence that landlords were avoiding the 4 per cent rent cap by using exemptions in legislation to justify large rent increases for their new tenants.

“How else to explain the 11 per cent increase in rents for Cork, or for example of the 10 per cent increase in Dublin?”

Ms Shortall pointed out that current law provided for only 28 days notice for those in the first year of their tenancy and two and a half years into a tenancy the notice period is 56 days.

“It is almost impossible in the current housing market for tenants or the homeless services that support them, to find alternative accommodation with such short notice.”

The Dublin North-West TD said there was currently no way for a new tenant to test whether the 4 per cent cap is being applied correctly by a landlord.

Her Bill provides that “new tenants would have access to details of the amount of rent paid by previous tenants.

“This would ensure that there is a check available to tenants on whether the maximum rent increase charged in designated rent pressure zones is being applied correctly by the landlord.”

Ms Shortall said her legislation proposes three simple changes to existing laws “to strengthen the rights of tenants and to help reduce the risk of homelessness”.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said he did not oppose the legislation, which will be debated in Social Democrats’ private member’s time.